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Thursday, 7 December 2017
Page: 10112


Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (16:17): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FARRELL: Labor will not be supporting this motion. Senator Bernardi has asked the Senate to make a judgement about the conduct of senators. Earlier today, he read into Hansard unsubstantiated claims that Senator Dastyari was facing court action over a substantial debt. These allegations are based on a statement of claim that refers to debts, addresses and identities that do not exist and events that Senator Dastyari says never happened. The claim is vexatious. Senator Dastyari is taking action to have this matter struck out, and the plaintiffs referred to the appropriate authorities. The Turnbull government is also making offensive and insulting comments in the media and in the other place about Senator Dastyari's heritage. The comments of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection represent a new low, even for the government. If Senator Bernardi is serious about standards of conduct, he should look at those of his former colleagues in the Turnbull government. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Bernardi be agreed to.